CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) - There's good news for job hunters during this time of high unemployment around Buffalo. The Walden Galleria is hiring for the holidays.
Retailers are making spirits bright with the prospect of work and a steady paycheck this holiday season. For many of the job-seekers at the Walden Galleria Friday night, that's been hard to come by.
Gross Glenn said, "At this point, just whatever I can get, I'll be grateful for, because I have a wife and two children."
Britini Farmer not she's been looking for work "for about a year now, actually, honestly."
Unemployment in western New York has gone up in recent months, even as the national unemployment rate is going down. As of August - the latest month for which numbers are available - unemployment in Buffalo and Niagara Falls rose to 9.2 percent.
That's the highest it's been at any point in the last 12 years, and slightly above the national average of 8.1 percent.
In July, 9.0 percent of the labor force in western New York was unemployed, compared to 8.3 percent nationwide.
College student Joseph Peifer said, "I'm interested in Best Buy and Regal especially, since [I have a] technical background. But I'd really work anywhere just to make money to go to school."
Major retailers such as Macy's and Kohl's are looking to add thousands of holiday helpers. Everyone from high schoolers to career professionals with decades of experience is competing for those openings. One look around the Galleria, and you have a portrait of the new economic reality.
High school student Kristy Green said, "We applied to at least, like, 15 to 20 places. Because not a lot of people want to hire kids that are still in high school."
Glenn noted, "A lot of times, I feel that positions think I'm overqualified. So it's kind of been a long road."
And Farmer added, "Someone may walk in with a Harvard degree, versus my one-year Associates Degree from ECC."
Here are some tips for successful seasonal job-hunting: Start looking now. And try applying at stores where shop as a customer. Having some knowledge about the store and what it sells can set you apart from the pack.
To find out which retailers are hiring, follow this link to the Walden Galleria's webpage.
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